Agartala: Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha on Saturday said the state government is eager to export tea to neighbouring Bangladesh and efforts are already afoot in that direction.
Besides, the state in collaboration with pertinent agencies is also contemplating setting up a tea auction centre here, Saha added.
In the last few years, Tripura tea has gained substantial popularity in the domestic market, especially after the state-produced tea was made available at subsidised prices in fair-price shops.
Speaking at the official launching programme of Tripureswari Premium tea, a brand owned by Tripura Tea Development Corporation, the chief minister said, “The state government has initiated multi-pronged efforts to ensure that the quality of the state’s tea improves and becomes competitive with the national market. The TTDC has done great work in reviving the lacklustre tea industry by resolving long-pending issues in a time-bound manner. Moreover, small tea growers are getting support from the government in the production of the tea.”
Highlighting the impediments related to land, Saha said, “We are already working to resolve the land-related disputes. Hopefully, all the problems faced by the tea growers will be addressed in a short period. Apart from this, enough emphasis is being laid on the modernisation of the existing facilities. Recently, the Central Tea Processing Factory of Durgabari has been completely transformed into a gas-based plant. In Machmara tea garden, a factory will come up soon, and at Panchamnagar a processing unit has already been established.”
Saha said that after 2018, the Tripura tea industry under the leadership of TTDC has witnessed a fillip. “Tripura tea’s history dates back to 1916, but till 2018 there was no logo of the tea. In the last few years, a logo of Tripura tea was designed and came into being. The brand name of Tripureswari tea was also launched by former Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb. Installation of packing units in Durgabari are some of the key steps undertaken by the state government to popularise Tripura tea in the domestic markets,” he added.
Discussing the rich history of Tripura tea, Saha said, “In Tripura, tea is grown in over 12,000 hectares of land. There are 54 tea gardens altogether that give an annual production of 9 to 10 lakh kgs of tea. There are 2,800-odd small tea growers who roughly produce 8 to 9 million kgs of green tea. Apart from being the oldest industry, tea is also generating good employment opportunities across the state.”
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